By now, hopefully you’ve given my post about Yoenis Cespedes‘s ridiculous play in the outfield yesterday. If not, go ahead and click that link there and give it a look.
Now while an inside-the-park home run is pretty rare, that will not go down in history as the craziest thing to happen at a baseball game on March 24th specifically. You see, that distinction belongs to The Big Unit, Randy Johnson. I just want to take a second and appreciate that nickname. The Big Unit. At 6’10” and firing 100-mph fastballs, that’s quite the fitting nickname.
Anyway, it was 15 years ago yesterday that Johnson had the moment that would define his career to less knowledgeable fans or non-fans. Those who know baseball know that his great achievements outweigh this one moment, but it was also the only time this has ever happened in an MLB game.
Yes, on March 24th, 2001 in a Spring Training game, Johnson made a bird explode with a pitch. How, you ask? Like this:
Johnson wasn’t happy about it that time, but he has since made that bird the logo for his photography website, which you can see HERE.
So was it a good luck charm? Who knows? But Johnson’s Arizona Diamondbacks went on to win the World Series that year, and The Big Unit (I’m just going to cram that in here as many times as I can) was named World Series co-MVP with Curt Schilling… So maybe.
If you want to learn more about his feats on the field that DON’T involve inadvertently killing animals, check out this video for a quick recap:
The Deadspin article celebrating(?) the anniversary is a pretty good read, and contains some more photos from that day, as well as some hilarious reaction from a few ornithologists.
What happened to the bird afterwards? Nobody really knows, but there’s at least one fan theory out there…
— Greens In Regulation (@Greens_in_Reg) July 27, 2015